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Calling All Producers: 5 Reasons to Apply to the Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship

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©Sundance Institute | Brandon Cruz

Anne Lai

We’re thrilled to announce our call for submissions for the 2016 Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship. This marks the beginning of our eighth year of the program, which has supported 47 producers, 41 films (17 completed), and many awards spread among them. Although stats can be helpful markers of success, we want to recognize how our Labs can serve as incubators for the artist eager to learn, grow their career, and be part of a community.  

Particularly in the field of producing, we focus on sustainability and how a producer continues to work and make bold choices that can create a significant impact in the world.  Producing is often daunting and impractical, yet driven by passion and energy instead of money. But often these choices result in films that inspire joy, curiosity, laughter, tears, introspection, beauty, and knowledge among audiences. The cultural impact, the individual experience, the societal conversation, the audience reaction—we see these as true markers of success.

Now, more than ever, we look at the work our Lab alumni continue to produce years after their Fellowship has ended. Whether or not their current projects are directly supported through our Labs and Fellowships is not always our focus. Who is that producer? What are they excited to create? Their ability to balance fiscal accountability, creative drive, collaborative puzzles, as well as their sheer tenacity continues to amaze me each and every time their films appear on the screen.  

So, to you young producers out there, we hope you’ll feel encouraged to apply. We’re excited to see your projects but even more enthusiastic to know and support you as an artist as you build your career.

If you’re still on the fence, below are 5 reasons from previous Lab Fellows on why you should consider it…

1. Face those tough, creative questions.

“Why this film? Why now? Why were we the ones that had to make it? It was often the simplest questions, or the ones we took for granted that were the most revealing. It was like holding up an objective and painfully honest mirror to ourselves as storytellers and producers.” -Gabrielle Nadig, 2013

2. Escape the daily grind to focus on your work as a creative producer.

“You’re encouraged to put away your email and turn off your phones — there’s hardly reception anyway.” – Jeremy Yaches, 2014

3. Join the ever-growing independent film community.

“Just when our minds were ready for a rest, the Lab came to a close and our small bubble was expanded to include the other filmmakers and panelists coming for the Producing Summit. Our small family became a large family.” – Blake Pickens and Stephen Love Jr., 2015

4. Empower yourself as an integral part of a filmmaking team and the independent film industry as the creative producer.

“I came into the Sundance Creative Producing Lab hoping to find an answer to the problem of indie film distribution, and to figure out how we can keep making the films we want to make. I found the answer, and it is: us, the producers. It is up to us to figure it all out.” -Mynette Louie, 2009

5.  You never know.

“I almost didn’t apply to the Lab. After two consecutive rejections, I wasn’t sure my bruised pride was up for a third. But the same pride also told me that was a pathetic excuse. Now, I’m really glad I listened.” – Melissa Lee, 2011

How to Apply

We’re looking forward to getting to know you, learning about the work you’ve been doing, and hearing about the work you aspire to do.  

To learn more about the 2016 Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship, please go to http://www.sundance.org/initiatives/creative-producing.

To apply to the 2016 Creative Producing Lab & Fellowship, please go to http://applications3.sundance.org/.

 

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